Preliminary investigation initiated
Did ex-archbishop of Paris commit sexual assault?
France’s judiciary is examining allegations against former Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit. As the Paris public prosecutor announced on Tuesday, the preliminary investigations are about the suspicion of sexual assault on a vulnerable person.
ARCHIVE – Michel Aupetit, former Archbishop of Paris, presides over the Chrism Mass during Holy Week at Saint-Sulpice, Paris’ second largest church. Photo: Marcel Kusch/dpa
The broadcaster BFMTV reported that the Paris diocese had previously approached the public prosecutor. Aupetit’s lawyer did not want to comment on the broadcaster.
The former Archbishop of Paris resigned in December 2021 following reports of a relationship with a woman. He had confirmed a connection to the woman when he was vicar general, but denied that it was a love affair.
Cases of abuse are becoming known again and again in the Catholic Church in France. It was only in November that the former Archbishop of Strasbourg, Jean-Pierre Grallet, and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard confessed to the abuse of a young woman and a girl respectively in the 1980s. A study presented in 2021 concluded that an estimated 216,000 children and young people have been victims of sexual abuse in France’s Catholic Church since the 1950s. Including Church-run facilities, the estimated number of victims was 330,000.